Many music students spend a great deal of time practicing their instruments, but become frustrated that their time is not turning into the results they would like. I encourage you to use this page as a resource for practice tips to help you get maximum results out of your practice time! I will try to update it as I come upon new tips or struggles. If you have any routines or suggestions that help you, please pass them along to me so that I may share them with others!
How to Practice
1. SLOW DOWN!
2. Focus most of your time on technical passages or "hard stuff."
3. Break these sections into small logical sections or chunks (oftentimes measure by measure is the easiest way).
4. REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT....... REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT.... (you get the idea :) ). Play the chunk 5 times without mistakes before moving on to the next one.
5. Once you are comfortable with the small chunks, begin putting them back together into larger chunks (two or four measures).
6. When you are comfortable with the larger chunks, begin increasing the tempo gradually until you are at "performance tempo" and ready to perform the full exercise or excerpt.
Common Practicing Mistakes to Avoid
1. Playing through each exercise from beginning to end. --> Though I am happy you are playing outside of school, this will not accomplish nearly what the above procedure will and may result in great frustration!
2. Playing through the parts that sound good. --> It is human nature to want to be great at the activities we choose. But, focusing only on our successes and ignoring our weaknesses will only make the weaknesses more apparent. If we focus on improving the areas with which we struggle, there will be many more successes!
3. Trying to fix everything during every practice session. --> Plan out your weekly practice routine to accomplish small goals during each practice session. Focus on one excerpt or exercise during each session throughout the week. With focused attention during one practice session, the exercise should not need nearly as much time the following session. This should help to keep tasks small and not feel overwhelmed.
Do you have tips for practice that may help your fellow classmates? Email Mrs. Gumble to share!